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Essay/Term paper: Religion in public schools

Essay, term paper, research paper:  Humanities Essays

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Religion In Public Schools

In the past Religion was confined to the state now with religious freedom
everything has changed or at least started to change. In order for religion to
be in a private school now it is again trying to be in Public schools. People
ask "why can't freedom to acknowledge god be enjoyed again by children in every
schoolroom across this land?" In the past, a long time ago children always
prayed before class started and before lunch. But things h ave changed, "in 1791
the separation of church and state" started. Although it was made clear about
the separation of the two "as late as 1951 some twenty states permitted schools
to begin the day by reading aloud a passage of the bible." Bu t that had to stop.
People didn't have the same beliefs when it comes to religion, if a family
absent even believe in god why should their child be forced to pray? On many
different occasions questions similar to this one were brought up and complained
about. That is what started it all real big.

When complaining, arguing and fighting all started over the silent moment. In
1978 a few lawyers got together and considered a constitutional law. The
original law said that public school teachers in gr ades 1-6 "shall announce
that a period of silence, not to exceed one minute, shall be observed for
meditation." This law did not work for long, because it still allowed oral
prayer in public high schools. Later in 1981, the Alabama State Senator Donald G.
Holmes successfully passed a bill that included all grades calling it "the
moment of silence" this law said that "the teacher (was) to announce that the
silent moment may be used for voluntary prayer." Although it would have to be si
lent prayer. Even after this new law started the lawyers that were opposed to
this were trying to say that students "do not have a right to pray in school"
silently or otherwise because of growing impressions that affect their life. The
silent moment supposedly "(forced) religion on children." I don't agree with
that at all, if there has to be a moment of silence then any child can use that
moment however he or she wants, it does not necessarily have to be used fro
prayer. Usually "the chi ldren who have been brought up with prayer or some type
of religion are usually proven to be better" kids. I have friends who go to
private schools where praying in class out loud is perfectly O.K. and normal.
This praying in the classroom usually would have a pretty good size affect on
the rest of a person's life. Although when praying aloud it could force one type
of religion on a student rather than having them have more of a choice of what
type of religion they want or if they even want to ha ve a religion. When there
would be the religion in the classrooms. "School children not participating in
the prayers or the bible readings (would be) asked or required to leave the
room."0 This has been another big dispute because the bill of rig hts states
that there shall be "freedom of religion"1 therefore this means that if a person
does not believe in god or what ever the instance might be then they don't have
to. This means if you want to have any type of religion you may. The children
who are forced to leave the classroom to stand in the hall are forced to make a
statement that says "we do not believe in te god of te state (or) we do not
believe that prayer should be publicly displayed in a public schoolhouse."This
was all thought to be by mainly every one all wrong, therefore if a child wished
not to participate in the pledge o allegiance or what ever it might be they did
not have to leave the classroom, stand silently in the halls, or write a
statement in stead they were allowed to just sit quietly in their seats.

Religion in public schools would be good for certain students but the silent
moment is good enough for now. Since religion has been tried in public schools
and hasn't exactly worked, the groups of children who wish to have prayer
meetings with other school members are allowed to have meetings, groups, clubs,
ect. before, at lunch or after school.

"Religion (in the public schools) can change a persons life"3 if a parent wants
their child to have religion they can send their child to a private school and
if a parent does not want their child to pressured in to having a religion they
should be able to send their child to a public school and if he or she wishes to
atend meetings then they can do so on their own.

Religion can change a person life sometimes for the better, but then again
sometimes for the worse, although the silent moment cannot affect anything
"freedom to acknowledge god in every school room across this land,"4 wouldn't al
ways be a bad idea.


"School Board Bans Open Forums to Prohibit a Student Group Prayer."Christ
Today(February 1, 1985) 48-49.

Bosmajian, Haig. "To Pray or Not to Pray"The Humanist
Magazine,(January/February, 198 5) 13-17.

Gest, Ted. "What High Court Heard About School Prayer."U.S. News,(December 17,
1984) 71.

Lewis, C. Anne. "Creeping Religiosity and Federal Education Policy."PHI Delta
Kappan,(November, 1984) 163-164.

Roberts, Fransis. "The Uproar Over Sch ool Prayer."Parents,(January 18,1985)


Fransis Roberts, "The Uproar Over School Prayer,"Parents,(November, 1984),

Roberts, p.39.

Roberts, p.38

Beth Spring, "Can St ates Allow Prayer in Public Schools?"News World,(January
18, 1985), p.56.

Spring, p.57

Roberts, p.38

Spring, p.57

Ted Gest, "What High Court Heard About School Prayer,"U.S. News,(December 17,
1984), p.71 .

Haig Bosmajian, "To Pray or Not To Pray,"The

Humanist(January/February, 1985), p.14.

0Bosmajian, p.15.

1Gest, p.71.

2Bosmajian, p.15.

3Anne Lewis, "Creeping Religiosity and Federal Education Policy,"PHI Delta
Kappan,(November, 1984), p.163.

4Roberts, p.38


Freedom to acknowledge God by children in every school room across this land can
sometimes but not always be acknowledged.


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